Wednesday, 04 April 2018 15:39


Richard Leonard is facing mounting pressure to suspend Labour councillors in Falkirk – part of the region he represents at Holyrood – after they intimated their intention to prop up the Tories in a local power grab at a council meeting tomorrow.

The SNP won the council elections in Falkirk last year, forming a minority administration and bringing an end to the previous Labour/Tory coalition.
Following the 2017 local elections, then Labour leader Kezia Dugdale issued an edict to Labour council groups not to enter power sharing deals with the Tories in council chambers across Scotland. The Labour group in Aberdeen defied Labour leadership and were suspended from the party. Richard Leonard has failed to show leadership by ejecting the rogue councillors, despite their support for a Tory budget in the city and drastic cuts to local services.
Falkirk Council Leader Cecil Meiklejohn wrote to Richard Leonard last week asking him step in and, in the event that Labour councillors back the Tories tomorrow as they seek to wrestle control of the council, follow the precedent set in Aberdeen and suspend them from the party. A motion is due to come before Falkirk Council on Thursday.
Commenting, Cllr Meiklejohn said:
“The people of Falkirk voted for the SNP to lead the Council – they put their trust in us to deliver better local services for them and their communities.
“But now Labour and the Tories appear to be in cahoots to undermine that democratic choice and stitch-up a cosy deal to seize power.
“Labour can’t be taken seriously as a party of the left when they want to hop into bed with the austerity-obsessed Tories to deliver more cuts. The first sniff of power and they look set to sell out their principles completely.
“Richard Leonard has to show some backbone – and make it crystal clear that he won’t condone this sort of cynical behaviour from Labour councillors in Falkirk if they cement their grubby deal with the Tories, or in any other council across Scotland.
“But if Labour are determined to help put the Tories into power they should meet the same fate as their councillor colleagues in Aberdeen – booted out of the party in disgrace for backing Tory austerity.”

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